Publishing graded readers is big business, as the number of catalogues produced annually by global publishers testifies. With the constant fluctuations of ELT, Bilingual Education, and World Languages markets they are a less risky. Graded readers will not replace the academic textbook series, but generally require relatively smaller investment. Here are a few reasons why publishers are fond of graded readers:
Publishers have more conceptual freedom when developing graded readers themselves , or when working with a graded reader developer like Hathaway Education. They can decide on content: themes, settings, narration style, characters, and fiction or non-fiction.
Publishers may decide to brand themselves as a provider of certain types of graded readers. There are a wide range of pathways that target solely or a combination of academic level, ethnicity, socio-economic class, age group, country-specific and regional interests. In addition, publishers may choose to exclusively publish readers as single pieces or bundles that are funny, serious, contemporary, historical, biographical, factual or fantastic in nature.
Related to branding, publishers can make important content selection choices to reflect their own identity and perceived target markets. Publishers can decide whether or not to include audio, glossaries, dictionaries, worksheets, tests, teacher’s notes, or other ancillaries as separate or included components.
Multiple titles can be moderately adapted to suit a number of target market needs:
- ESL, ELT, ELA– English language titles can be adapted for three focus areas
- Language type– titles can be written in standard American English and/or British English
- Bilingual education– titles can be transformed into bilingual graded readers
- Translations– titles can be translated into foreign languages
- Big Books – title can be converted to big books for very young learners (pre-K, early primary)